ProMedica Toledo Hospital Opens State-of-the-Art Stroke Unit
posted on: 05/08/2012
TOLEDO, Ohio, May 8, 2012 - ProMedica Toledo Hospital announced the opening of a 20-bed stroke unit, in conjunction with a new 15-bed neuro intensive care unit. The services recently moved from another location within the hospital to a newly developed floor of the Renaissance Tower, including all private rooms, 24-hour MRI service, and new telemedicine capabilities that will be implemented within a few weeks.
“We want to emphasize to the community that stroke is an emergency,” comments Kelley Joseph, RN, stroke care coordinator at Toledo Hospital. “Unfortunately, because stroke victims often do not experience the symptom of pain, they may ignore the warning signs until severe damage has already been done.”
Toledo Hospital is recognized by The Joint Commission for certification as a Primary Stroke Center. This distinction goes to centers that demonstrate long-term success in achieving better outcomes for stroke patients. An on-site evaluation in 2011 concluded that the Toledo Hospital center meets all national standards for stroke care.
On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, while someone dies of a stroke every 3.1 minutes. It is the nation’s third leading cause of death, with about 795,000 people experiencing a new or recurrent stroke each year. Stroke is also a leading cause of long-term disability with about 4.7 million stroke survivors.
“Common stroke symptoms include tingling or numbness of the face, which can cause a crooked smile or drooping of the eye; weakness, numbness, or tingling in an arm; and slurred or garbled speech,” says Toledo neurologist James Sander, MD. “If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s time to call 911.”
When patients arrive at Toledo Hospital with acute neurological symptoms, a stroke alert is initiated immediately, which triggers a particular sequence of events and best practices. Each of these patients will receive a CAT scan, blood work, and a National Institutes of Health Stroke Survey (NIHSS), which is an 11-step, comprehensive neurological exam that assigns a number to the patient’s deficit. The numbers give the stroke team a sense of how disabled the patient is. The lowest possible number, a zero, means the patient is normal whereas the highest number, 32, indicates severe disability.
In addition to providing acute care, the stroke unit nursing staff and physicians work proactively to prevent stroke patients from coming back. Antiplatelet and anticoagulant medications play an important role in preventing stroke recurrence, but the healthcare professionals also look at the patient’s risk factors and supply the tools and education patients need to in order to manage their risk and avoid another stroke.
“What we’ve done here is increase our knowledge and passion in treating this population of patients. The bottom line is, these changes will allow us to help the community so much more, become a beacon for stroke care, and, most importantly, improve our patients’ outcomes,” Joseph says.
For more information about stroke, visit www.promedica.org and click on About Your Health.ProMedica Toledo Hospital is a member of Toledo, Ohio-based ProMedica, a mission-based, not-for-profit healthcare organization, formed in 1986. ProMedica has more than 14,300 employees and nearly 1,700 physicians – with more than 400 healthcare providers employed by ProMedica Physicians. Its 11 hospitals and more than 306 facilities offer comprehensive diagnostic, medical and surgical specialties in heart and vascular, oncology, orthopaedics, neurology, and women and pediatric services. ProMedica’s mission is to improve health and well-being, with a strong focus on wellness and clinical excellence, as well as innovative, community advocacy programs that address health-related issues such as hunger and obesity.